Frank Ocean’s “Blonde:” In A Category Of Its Own

By Natalie Kucko

Grade: A


Whether he is heard on the radio or mentioned in everyday conversation, Frank Ocean has transcended the R&B music genre. Words like “ambiguity,” “enigma” and “boldness” come to mind about this artist. Though Ocean is considered an R&B superstar, he has subliminally created his own genre. It might even be considered a sub-genre of sheer creativity.

Blonde was released in August of this year. After years of anticipation, the public was ready for something new. Ocean fans took to Twitter to vent over just how much they missed his music. Luckily for them, and the rest of the music loving community, the wait ended this summer.

It was made known that Ocean has struggled with his identity and sexuality; however, this album is anything short of translucent. Fans craved something, anything from Ocean. On the other hand, they were not prepared for the emotional impact from this record.

The album kicks off with a slow, captivating track called “Nikes.” The listener is immediately drawn in for an enriching music experience.

“Ivy” follows as the second track on the record. It is an honest song about love, loss and heartbreak. It can resonate with anyone who has been painfully hurt by a lover.

In the middle of the album is “Solo.” This song defines “riding solo” and living life on your own terms. Ocean mentions how you can be happy alone, but that there is an ability to meet someone and feel happy about it. This is one of my favorites on Blonde. 

Another spectacular track on the album is “Self Control.” This song is one of the single most empowering ones I have ever heard. The lyrics are raw, real and completely open. Ocean wears his heart on his sleeve, and you can’t help but appreciate that.

Overall, Blonde has blown people’s minds. Ocean has bounced back from a difficult time and come back stronger than ever. Yes, Channel Orange is outstanding. But this… this is pure genius.

In his words from Blonde, “It’s hell on Earth and the city’s on fire. Inhale. In hell, there is heaven.”


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